Kyle Katarn: A Blast from the Past in Star Wars: Outlaws?

Kyle Katarn: A Blast from the Past in Star Wars: Outlaws?

The Star Wars franchise is known for its intricate and richly woven narrative tapestry, and the gaming world is abuzz with speculation that a familiar character from the 90s Star Wars games might be making a return in Massive Entertainment’s “Star Wars: Outlaws”. As avid fans will attest, part of the charm of the Star Wars universe lies in the unexpected appearances of characters from various timelines and story arcs, which offer additional depth and context to the unfolding narratives​.

An Unexpected Encounter

In the newly released cinematic trailer for “Star Wars: Outlaws”, fans believe they have spotted a character bearing a striking resemblance to Kyle Katarn, the protagonist of the “Star Wars: Dark Forces” and “Star Wars: Jedi Knight” games from the 90s. This character, sitting in the cockpit of the ship belonging to Kay Vess, the protagonist of “Star Wars: Outlaws”, offers her “a way out”, seemingly playing a key role in the instigation of the game’s heist plot. Although Vess refers to him as “Jaylen”, fans speculate that he might be using an alias, or that game developers could be employing a fake name to surprise players later in the game​​.

The Return of a Legend

Kyle Katarn is a character who has a deep-rooted history in the Star Wars universe. His story started as an Imperial officer who grew disillusioned with the Empire and took up mercenary work for the Rebels after learning that the Empire had tortured and killed his father. Over the course of the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight games, Katarn’s role evolved from being a Rebel mercenary to becoming a Jedi Knight, and his character has resonated with fans ever since​​.

Katarn’s most notable achievement was his retrieval of the Death Star plans that led to its destruction in “A New Hope. However, his actions, along with the Star Wars extended universe, were rendered non-canon when Disney acquired the franchise in 2012. The studio then crafted a new narrative surrounding the Death Star plans in “Rogue One”, which seemingly erased Katarn from the Star Wars mythos entirely​​.

A New Chapter

Despite the apparent erasure of Katarn’s past actions, the possibility of his return in “Star Wars: Outlaws” could represent a form of narrative resurrection. The game’s setting, during a time when Katarn was known to be a mercenary, fits perfectly with the character of Kay Vess, who has no clear alliances with the Jedi, Rebels, or Empire, and is more involved in the Outer Rim’s criminal underworld. Katarn’s potential integration into this world could add a fascinating new layer to the game’s narrative, drawing in older fans familiar with his story and introducing him to a new generation of Star Wars gamers​.

As we look forward to the Ubisoft Forward event on June 12, where more details about “Star Wars: Outlaws” are set to be revealed, the speculation around the return of Kyle Katarn adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation. Whether he is returning under an alias or merely as a nod to the series’ rich past, the inclusion of this character in the upcoming game represents a tantalizing blend of old and new, a testament to the enduring appeal of the Star Wars universe and its ability to continuously engage and surprise its audience​.